Rory McIlroy once took part in Ice Bucket Challenge with Meghan Markle

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Rory McIlroy stayed ice cool under pressure at the US PGA on Thursday, in the same way he ensured Meghan Markle did not so long ago.

Well, maybe not quite the same way, but the golf star did once pour a bucket of freezing water over the Duchess of Sussex as part of a social media craze. And the incident came at a time when McIlroy could have been considered a bigger global star than Markle herself.

Back in 2014, a year where the Northern Irishman won his third and then fourth major title, he was being tipped to become an all-time great of the sport. That notion is yet to materialise, although he ended the first round of this week's PGA Championship as the overall leader.

In contrast, although by then she was a well established actress, Markle's romance with Prince Harry was yet to take off. But the lack of a royal connection back then perhaps helped her embrace the 'ice bucket' charity challenge that became a phenomenon on Facebook in particular.

After being publicly nominated to take part by McIlroy, the pair then shared a video where he emptied a cooler box, full of ice and water, onto her head. Markle however, who opened the clip appealing to people to make a donation to ALS Awareness, took it all in good humour though.

It's highly unlikely that the American, now 40, would participate in such a video nowadays, following her and Harry's divisive decision to forgo their royal duties and move to the US.

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As for McIlroy, 33, his immediate focus won't be on buckets and ice, but on ending his eight-year major drought. He was in sublime form at Southern Hills in the first round, notching seven birdies in his round of 65.

It left him one stroke ahead of American pairing Will Zalatoris and Tom Hoge, with the star teeing off for his second round at 7.26pm UK time on Friday night. He'll again be playing alongside the legendary Tiger Woods and Jordan Spieth.

Woods wowed the crowds with two birdies in his first five holes, but then struggled as he continues his comeback from his high-speed car crash last February. The 15-time major winner finished up four-over par.

  • Rory McIlroy
  • Meghan Markle

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